August 2012

End of summer break: Gone-fishin'

Please note that that Vistas will be taking a break for the Labor Day holiday and will not publish the weeks of August 27 and September 3. See you in September. Enjoy!

E-commerce Refines and Re-emphasizes Need for Customer Service

Of course you want your business to be all it can be, but are you really doing the footwork? Many women-owned businesses aren’t, as I discussed recently.

In a Crowded Niche, Personality and Values Matter

Let’s get down to brass tacks: It’s all well and good to say that brick-and-mortar stores need great customer service in order to compete in an e-commerce world but how do pull it off?

How Necessity Is the Mother of Creating a Business

In 1995, Julie Azuma, the mother of a newly diagnosed autistic daughter, went from store to store, trying to find the educational materials her daughter needed. Along the way, she’d joined a listserve -- remember those? -- for parents of autistic children so she knew that other parents were as frustrated as she was.

Revitalizing Local Communities Through Impact Investing

Impact investing – the balancing of financial returns with social impact – comes in all shapes and sizes. Recently, I attended an event held by the Community Investing Network of NJ, an organization that is a great example of how government, foundations, and individual investors can come together to revitalize local communities.

How to Find the Right Partner for Big Bucks Contract

Karen Barbour is founder and president of the Barbour Group, a $3.6 million dollar company that grew 45% from 2007 to 2010, earning a place -- for the 4th consecutive year -- on Inc.500/5000 list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. She was also a 2009 Ernst & Young Entrepreneurial Winning Woman.

Social Media Can Attract Big Fish As Well as Small Fry

Many nonprofits already use social media, including mobile, to raise money among individual donors. Small donations add up, as Mark Hanis found. His first Facebook campaign raised $250,000 in 2005 for Genocide Intervention Network, now known as United to End Genocide.

For Business-to-Business Marketing, LinkedIn and Twitter Are Hot

Believe it or not, the US government is using social media … not all agencies, but two in particular.